Botox is undoubtedly the most popular injectable cosmetic treatment on the market. It’s so popular that an entire class of injectable solutions (neurotoxin modulators) are referred to as Botox — even though the term “Botox” is really just the brand name for botulinum toxin type A neuromodulators.
One of the primary reasons for Botox’s market dominance is that it was the first neurotoxin modulator approved by the FDA as a cosmetic treatment. Botox was originally used to treat eye muscle problems, but it gained prominence as a treatment for dynamic facial wrinkles after 2002.
Since then, millions of Botox treatments have been administered per year. The success of Botox has also paved the way for several other neurotoxin modulators with slightly different properties, including Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau. Botox is certainly not the only neurotoxin injectable anymore, but it’s still considered the best
Not all Botox injections are created equally. Different Botox injections may have different concentrations, properties, and they may address different needs. To ensure optimal and natural-looking results, while avoiding embarrassing side-effects, you must consider all your options carefully.
In this buyer’s guide, we discuss how you can select the best Botox treatments for your unique needs.
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Neurotoxins vs. Dermal Fillers
Neurotoxin modulators, like Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau, are different from dermal fillers, like Juvéderm, Restylane, Belotero Balance, etc. People often assume they belong to the same category of injectable treatments, but that’s entirely incorrect because they have different purposes.
As mentioned above, neurotoxins are used to smoothen dynamic wrinkles caused by the overuse of facial muscles. Dermal fillers, meanwhile, are used to add facial volume and “fill” the wrinkles and fine lines to reduce their appearance. Dermal fillers largely address static wrinkles caused by the loss of collagen and elastin.
Dermal fillers contain various different properties amongst different products.
However, most dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid, a component that adds to your skin’s natural youthfulness and suppleness. Dermal fillers supplement the naturally-occurring HA in your skin to restore lost facial volume and fill the wrinkles and fine lines.
When you look for cosmetic treatments, you should determine if you want to smoothen your dynamic wrinkles or static wrinkles. If you want to smoothen your dynamic wrinkles, go for Botox or other neurotoxins. If you want to add facial volume and smoothen static fine lines, go for dermal fillers.
Variations in Botox Concentration
Now that you understand how Botox works and how it differs from other cosmetic injectables on the market, let’s talk about Botox concentrations. Even though Botox is an individual brand of cosmetic injectables, the Botox injections you receive can vary in consistency and concentration.
When plastic surgeons and medical clinics purchase Botox from the manufacturer, they receive vials containing 100 units of the vacuum-dried neurotoxin. Botox can’t be used in its bottled form — the physician must mix some saline solution to get it in liquid form. Botox can only be administered to the patient via liquid injections.
Once Botox is retrieved from the vial, the physician can add as much saline as they want to the Botox. The more saline they add to the Botox vial, the less active it becomes. The process of adding saline into the Botox is called “reconstitution,” but it can also be called a dilution process since it enables a physician to dilute the complex.
Botox provides a recommended standard for saline reconstitution and doses per area. The following is an overview of recommended dosages per area:
- Forehead Lines: 15 to 20 units for women, and 20 to 30 units for men.
- Glabellar Lines: 20 to 30 units for women, and 30 to 40 units for men.
- Crow’s Feet: 16 to 32 total units for women, and 12 to 16 total units for men.
- Perioral Area: 4 to 10 units for women and men.
- Dimpled Chin: 2 to 6 units for women, and 2 to 8 units for men.
This recommendation chart establishes the Botox dosage for each treatment area. However, physicians can also meet this standard by mixing more saline than recommended in each unit of Botox. Thus, you may think you’re getting a good dosage of Botox, but you may not realize that most of it is saline.
Lots of physicians offer “discount Botox” to attract unsuspecting patients with the promise of cheap cosmetic enhancements. You should always be wary of any discount or bargain offers. Even if the physician provides the highest recommended standard of dosage, they may provide seriously diluted toxin that has little to no effect.
Ask the Right Questions
The best way to ensure you get the right Botox is to find a reputable and board-certified doctor. You must find a doctor with an exceptional reputation and standing in the cosmetic treatment community. Furthermore, you should also be vigilant against bargain and discount offers.
When you finally find a cosmetic doctor for Botox injections, please ask the right questions:
- How many units do you inject in that area?
- What is your reconstitution ratio?
Asking the right questions does two things. First, you ensure that you’re given the appropriate dosage of Botox. Second, it informs the cosmetic doctor that you’ve done your research, and they’re less likely to inject a diluted or ineffective Botox dose.
If you have any other concerns or questions, contact Avalon Laser to learn more about your San Diego Botox treatments.